BATFE Rule Changes Flare Up Again

posted on July 30, 2015

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has changed its minds about another class of legally owned products, this time choosing to regulate flare guns.

A May 5 letter from Valentina Close, acting chief of the Explosives Industry Programs Branch, announced that acquisition of M992 flares will now require a federal explosives license. Close writes that 40 mm flares contain less than 100 grams of explosive material (including primer and propellant/parachute charges) and admits “ATF has historically held that .50 caliber or smaller ammunition” is exempt from regulation—just before redefining flares as regulated explosives. 40 mm is well bigger than .50 cal., so what’s the real motive? Then, there are those many millions of boating/emergency flares in 26 mm/12-gauge. Are they next for a BATFE beat-down?  

BATFE also recently ruled that AR arm braces can be regulated depending upon how the firearm is held. The agency also tried to ban green-tip ammo, but failed when they could not produce a single instance of a police officer being shot with it. 

Just like, say, flare guns.

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